Entries from 2010

roger belland 2006 bourgogne pinot noir

By billn on December 15, 2010 #degustation

2006 Roger Belland, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Medium colour. The nose has wide, slightly alcoholic top-notes that mix with a little spearmint and narrows to a base of dark red fruit. In the mouth the fruit has a nice sweet dimension, but the acidity is just slightly in the ascendant providing a sour, perhaps for some people too sour reflection. The tannin is far from evident. I’d say this is in the last days of pinot-noir youth, an adolescence of acidity like a breaking voice just compromising the performance. I’ve enjoyed a number of these over that couple of years, but this is the last – a job done because I’m not looking to keep this 20 years, but done well!
Rebuy – No (not anymore but it was great fun for 18 months…)

benoit germain

By billn on December 15, 2010 #asides

I was shocked.

I heard yesterday via a bulletin-board, but having made a few calls I can confirm that we have lost Benoit and the funeral is this morning.

I tasted with him at the end of July; he was quite young (late 30s, early 40s was my guess) and was full of energy and enthusiasm he was welcoming very friendly too. He took time off for me from moving his fermentation tanks around the yard – precariously with a fork-lift truck – because he was having a new floor laid in the cuverie (the cuverie away from the Château). Because of this we had to run the gauntlet of smelly of molten adhesive and down the cellar steps and close the door as fast as possible, mainly to avoid suffocation!

Everything in my discussion with Benoit was about the future and he beamed when talking about his wines and vines – and even other peoples vines too! Tasting with him was like banishing the thought that bad wines could even exist.

It was one of the best tastings of the year for me, I feel lucky to have seen him so recently.

I’m still shocked.

antonin guyon 1998 corton-charlemagne

By billn on December 14, 2010 #degustation


Guyon make a powerful Charlemagne that has often brought me great joy, but my last bottles of both 2000 and 2002 brought instead oxidised wines. Frankly this has been hanging around in the refrigerator for almost six months as I couldn’t face opening another oxidised grand cru – but like an early Christmas present…

1998 Antonin Guyon, Corton-Charlemagne
Deep colour. One sniff of the nose and I’m smiling; there are the lanolin aromas of an even older wine, and perhaps the merest suggestion of something oxidative but it’s an interesting complexity on a lower level than many champagnes(!) – no complaints. For the first 20 minutes or-so, this seems a little alcoholic and disjointed, but thereafter it becomes a decently integrated wine. Good acidity and nice intensity too – actually the flavour is also very long. There isn’t the seemless, smooth-ness of a very good vintage but this is a very nice drink that belies the vintage reputation. I don’t recommend the odds of taking a replacement bottle, but I’ll happily accept what this one offers.
Rebuy – No – this bottle is fine, but the odds of p.ox are too high…

Nationale 74, Divine-Comédie (2010)

By billn on December 13, 2010 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

bourgogne-nationale-74Divine Comédie

If you can get by in French, let me introduce you to a great guidebook to the Côte d’Or.

Published in the summer and described as a ‘roadbook’, it seems quite up-to-date, and is filled with the (obligatory) Pitiot-Poupon-derived vineyard maps and some lovely photos from the same people that do the Panogeo images.

Unlike a traditional book about the region this offers additional schematics (maps) of the villages – as opposed to the vines – showing where the hotels, bars and restaurants of note are – i.e. the ones they’ve each profiled in a couple of sentences. There is a little introduction to each village, a profile of a couple of producers and/or wines of note too. Finally a little place for you to jot some notes of your own!

It’s not a book to read if I may say so – in fact it’s not really a book, it’s a guide – rather it is for dipping into. And a good dip it provides.

In this case the Côte d’Or is defined as Marsannay to Maranges and includes pages on the Hautes Côtes de Nuits and Hautes Côtes de Beaune. The index begins on page 207 – so lots of info for a paltry Euros 13.90. Great for a few days break, though possibly worth trying to get hold of a copy before you leave – you might even decide to camp! 😉

muzard 2008 santenay 1er beauregard

By billn on December 12, 2010 #degustation


2008 Lucien Muzard, Santenay 1er Beauregard
Medium colour. Medium width too, and some reduction for the first hour; eventually a nice red dominated-berry fruit and the last drops have a lovely acid-cherry impression. In the mouth there is a freshness that dovetails nicely with the width – again emphasising an acid-cherry note. There was again plenty of CO2 making this almost shiraz-like for thirty minutes or so, but sixty minutes in there was no mistaking the provenance of this wine. More elegant and finer than the Maladières but equal fun. Enjoyed!
Rebuy – Yes

jean chauvenet 2008 nuits 1er les perrières

By billn on December 11, 2010 #degustation


The tasting I had at the domaine last week was a resounding success – a very fine selection from 2008, but it’s often interesting to compare your notes with a bottle at home. I loved the Perrières best, despite the Vaucrains being the ‘top wine’ (most expensive) in the cellar, so bought half a dozen.

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Perrières
Bigger glass, more aeration; yet the fruit holds onto a creamy-vanilla coating which I don’t remember being so obvious back in Nuits in the (11°!) cellar. The fruit, however, is a summer pudding of black and to a lesser extent red berries and is quite captivating. Plenty of acidity which turns into real intensity in the mid-palate and towards the finish – plenty more of that summer-pudding fruit flavour as go into the finish. There is just enough concentration of sweet-sour fruit to avoid the acidity taking over. You really have to search out the tannin; I cool it down in the fridge and there’s that glossy dark fruit impression that I noted in Nuits – at least it’s the same wine then! Intense, even a bit cerebral – I love this wine.
Rebuy – Yes

And my note from the cellar(?) Well I suppose it could be the same wine – a bigger glass and moving from 11° to 16-18° really can make a big difference (excuses, excuses!)

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Perrières
Deep colour. Lovely deep dark aromas to match, almost textured with a faint dark chocolate. Wide with lovely, lithe dark fruit and some velvet tannin in the background. Slowly lingering finish. Bravo.

2007 château de puligny-montrachet 1er folatières

By billn on December 10, 2010 #degustation


It might be from my all-time favourite vintage, but anyone who can make Folatières taste like liquid rock must be working very hard – bravo!

2007 Château de Puligny-Montrachet, Puligny 1er Les Folatières
Medium-pale yellow. The nose has a ripe but sweet yellow lemon about it, but with a minerality that makes me reminisce about some almost finished Chablis Le Clos 2001! There is an undertow of sweetness but the real current (energy) of this wine is the citrus acidity that runs right through the core and into the finish, and it brings with it an intense mineral-led flavour that is actually very, very long. Good as the tension is in the 2008, this absolutely crackles with energy – hopefully a wine you can drink forever!
Rebuy – Yes

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